Plunder charges filed vs ex-Pagcor chair | Inquirer News

Plunder charges filed vs ex-Pagcor chair

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 02:54 AM July 12, 2011

CHECKMATE A check for P26,700,000 issued by former Pagcor chair Efraim Genuino. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) on Monday filed plunder charges against its former chair, Efraim Genuino, for “siphoning off” some P186 million from its funds allegedly to aid the election bid of his daughter’s party-list group.

Pagcor chair Cristino Naguiat Jr. brought more than 30,000 pages of documents to the Department of Justice (DoJ) to back up accusations against Genuino, his two children—Erwin and Sheryl See—and 38 former officials of the state gaming firm and Bida Foundation.

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Naguiat said his predecessor and the other accused conspired to funnel public funds to help Bida in its publicity campaigns prior to the group’s failed election bid in last year’s congressional elections.

The party-list group listed Genuino’s daughter Sheryl as its first nominee.

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“Clearly, there was a conflict of interest with how former Pagcor officials disbursed the funds to a group which later registered as a party-list group,” Naguiat told reporters before he and senior Pagcor officials filed the complaint.

He said the case was “a testament of our commitment to the public and to our employees that we will come out with the truth.”

Among those charged were former Pagcor president and COO Rafael Francisco and board members Manuel Roxas, Philip Lo, Danilo Gozo, Imelda Dimaporo, Ester Laconico Feria, Susana Dumlao Vargas and Gamaliel Cordoba, now a commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission.

Likewise sued were former Pagcor officials Jose Benedicto, Rene Figueroa, Edward “Dodie” King, Carlos Bautista Jr., Ester Hernandez, Valente Custodio, Jesselyn Durante-Cuizon, Mario Cornista, Rodolfo Soriano Jr., Tomas Toledo and Emilio Marcelo.

Evidence

Attached to Pagcor’s 126-page complaint were reproductions of at least 17 checks, Pagcor board resolutions, memoranda, audit reports and other documents showing that Bida had received huge sums from Pagcor.

“Some of these were copies of the contracts with Bida. We also have samples of T-shirts and comics promoting Bida which were bought using Pagcor’s money,” Naguiat said.

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He said the transfer of funds to Bida violated existing government policies and laws on bidding and procurement processes.

It was the third complaint that the current Pagcor management had lodged against the state-run gaming firm’s past officials.

Last month, Pagcor sued Genuino, his son Erwin and more than 25 others for the alleged anomalous allocation of P26.7 million for the production of the 2008 movie “Baler.”

A few days later, former Sen. Nikki Coseteng and Pagcor officials also filed graft charges against Genuino, et al. for the alleged irregularities in the use of P30 million pesos allocation for the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association.

Just the beginning

Because of the volume of documents and evidence, Pagcor personnel had to use two metal pallets to bring them to the office of Assistant State Prosecutor Cesar Calubag who received the complaint.

“This is just the beginning of the cases we will file against the former Pagcor management. All these cases are well-documented,” Naguiat said.

He said Pagcor had paid at least P14.42 million for Bida pins, identification cards, tarpaulins and other advertising materials. “These materials were mostly used for the Bida caravan,” he said.

Pagcor also shouldered the cost of advertisements amounting to more than P63 million to promote Bida from 2008 until the elections last year, Naguiat added.

“The ad placements were obviously intended or designed to increase the exposure and popularity of the Bida Foundation in time for the 2010 national elections,” Naguiat said.

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TAGS: Bida Foundation, Efraim Genuino, Erwin Genuino, Pagcor chair Cristino Naguiat Jr, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Plunder, Sheryl See Genuino
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